Thursday, March 1, 2012

Multi-colored Snow Crocus

I planted snow crocuses (Crocus crysanthus) last year for the first time and was so delighted with them!  The plants are short -- about 3 or 4 inches tall -- and the blooms are much smaller than the Dutch hybrid crocuses.  Their small, delicate nature makes them look more like wildflowers...which they are in Bulgaria and other parts of Eastern Europe.  There they are sometimes considered weeds.

Last fall I added some bulbs of a snow crocus cultivar, Crocus crysanthus 'Advance', to a spot atop a stone wall where I have a growing collection of creepers and miniature plants.  Small tufts of leaves came up a few weeks ago, then buds started forming, and now I have blooms!   I am thrilled every time I see them!  Banana yellow with orange-red anthers is such a pretty sight against brown mulch and leaf litter.  But let me show you something else...

This is the same plant from the side -- purple on the outside!  In the mornings before the sun comes up, the flowers are closed up tight and all you see is purple with creamy white.  You wonder where the yellow flowers went!   But then!...The day gets going, they open wide et voila! -- this very sunny interior. Magic!

The are many other cultivars of snow crocus in shades of blue, purple, yellow, white or cream.  Or, you can buy mixes that include all the colors.   I've noticed the bloom times tend to be slightly different for each color, so you don't always get more than one color blooming at a time.  That way, it's fun to see which color each new day brings!



  1. Beautiful! I love that the outside is a different color! How could these be considered weeds!!!!

  2. How adorable! I don't have any of these in my garden and I certainly need to remember to put some bulbs in in the fall. They make spring so much more fun!

  3. holley, i know! i would really love to see a huge field of those in their native setting.

    janet, it's really amazing how different the outside looks from the inside. my photos didn't really show that, but you would never guess that yellow is in there when they're all closed up.

    karin, bulbs are one of the best garden investments you can make! you will love them. choosing which ones is the hard part -- i always want some of everything!

  4. I wonder how they would do if I planted then in a container this fall? I would love a planter full near my front door next spring.

  5. GUTI, they do fine in containers...that would be pretty right next to the door!

  6. When I saw the first picture I said to myself, well they are nice, but no more so than any other crocus. Then you showed the mottled purple on the outside of the petals and my opinion changed for the better.

  7. les, it probably helps to be a huge crocus fan like me, but these really are cool and kind of unusual.